The following was reported by Peter Darben using the Fortean Times - On line reporting service


Seen in The Brisbane Sunday Mail on 17/9/95

The fabled panthers of the New England Ranges, in northern NSW, are on the prowl again.

Last week a resident of the small town of Emmaville claimed he had trapped a panther after it scaled a 2.5m fence and killed some of his chickens.

His story has renewed interest in the elusive panther, or panthers, which have apparently roamed the ranges north of Glen Innes for up to 50 years.

The Emmaville farmer, who for fear of derision did not wish to be named, told of a big black cat almost a metre in length which climbed into his chicken pen.

"It was not a cat because feral cats don't get that big or over fences that high."

The mystery animal, which had a record number of sightings in the late 1950's and early 1960's, is believed to have escaped from a circus travelling between Glen Innes and Armidale after World War II.

Legend has it when a pregnant black leopard and two young males escaped, the circus managers decided to say nothing for fear of retaliation from the public and government.

Contact email address: darben@redash.qut.edu.au